Knowing what to look out for when viewing an apartment for sale can save you time, stress, unpleasant surprises and help to choose the right property for you. We prepared a checklist of things to look out for to help buyers ask the right questions and make an informed decision.
When you are buying an apartment as oppose to a house, you need to consider additional factors like: condition of the building, service charges, term of the lease and bylaws among others. If you intend to live in this property you are buying into a community that will have an impact on your day to day life.
When buying an apartment it’s good to get to know the surrounding area, transport links, shops, restaurants, schools, parks, gym.
What is the amount of traffic, will it be noisy at peak hours? Are there a lot of night bars in the area? Is the apartment building close to motorway?
It’s worth to visit at least a few properties to get an idea what your money can buy. Check recent sales in given area to know the re-sale value of properties and evaluate if the price is reasonable.
Some buildings require more maintenance than others. Consider the building’s age & finish.
Will it require regular painting, wood treatment or is it all brick work?
What is the roof like? If it’s flat there might be additional cost involved when insuring the building and carrying out inspections.
Is there a lot of green areas? On one hand they provide a welcome respite in the city on the other they an be quite costly to maintain.
Are the lifts in good working condition or do they seem to be coming to the end of their life and will need to be replaced in the near future?
What are the parking arrangements?
What are the security and access control measures in the building?
Is there a manager or concierge in the building?
Does the area have a high crime stats?
We would advise to pay particular attention to the lease which outlines the rules of the development. They will be legally binding once the contracts are signed. .
If you are a pet owner make sure there isn’t NO PET policy in place.
There can be also restrictions on the aesthetic changes you can make to your property.
Check if the management company employs a reputable managing agent or are the residents maintaining the development themselves.
Is the service charge realistic?
Is there a sinking fund in place?
Check if the common areas of the building are noisy and if the apartment is located close to staircases, lifts and other high traffic areas.
What are the residents and area demographic like?
Are your neighbors mostly students, families with children, professionals or older couples?
It’s important to ensure that the square footage of the apartment is large enough for your needs and the apartment has enough storage space within it.
Is there additional storage space available in the basement or attic?
What is the solar orientation of the apartment and is the light coming through the windows blocked by other buildings?
If you are viewing an apartment during the day and multiple lights are switched on, the unit most likely does not get enough natural light.
When attending a viewing of an apartment look for red flags such as cracking, mould, wall and ceiling stains, broken sealants, draft coming from around the windows or from under window sill. Ask if the walls have been insulated.
If there is a fireplace ask if it works and pay attention to the chimney, is the paint coming off or you can clearly see paint bulging?
Think about the orientation of bedrooms and living spaces to common areas and neighbors.
Changing a layout of an apartment might involve a lot of work, so if you are fundamentally not happy with what is there it’s best to move on to another property.